On MSNBC this
Matthews cautioned Democratic Senators that if they vote to confirm
Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, they will have to answer for it for
the rest of their political career.
His reasoning was a supremely political one: that at age 49, Gorsuch is
likely to be on the Court for 30 years. And that any Dem voting to
confirm him would have to answer, over all those years, for his
decisions on controversial issues such as abortion and gun rights: “it
will be on you,” warned Matthews.
predicted that the Gorsuch nomination will fail because Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell will not invoke the “nuclear option.” And since,
according to Matthews, no Dems will vote to confirm, the nomination
will fall short of the required 60 votes.
No matter how much McConnell reveres Senate tradition, he will not let
such a qualified jurist, and Trump’s first Court nominee, go down to
ignominious defeat. If push comes to shove, I predict that McConnell
will invoke the nuclear option, and Gorsuch will be confirmed on a
a lawyer's view on Gorsuch, read this SCOTUSblog profile on Gorsuch.
Some of his key legal positions are below
Amendment: He wrote in United States v. Games-Perez these rights "may
not be infringed lightly."
* Roe v. Wade: Gorsuch has never had the opportunity to write on Roe v.
Wade. But, for any indication on how he would vote on abortions, the
"right to privacy" defense from the dormant commerce clause is
relevant, and he isn't buying it. This clause, known as "dormant" since
it is not explicitly written out in the Constitution, indicates that
since Congress regulates interstate commerce, states cannot pass
legislation that unduly burdens or discriminates against other states
and interstate commerce.
* Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius: He distrusts efforts to remove religious
expression from public spaces generally, but watch out for cases citing
RFRA and RLUIPA — he ruled in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius that the
contraception mandate in Obamacare placed an undue burden on the
company's religious exercise and violated RFRA.
* Capital punishment: Gorsuch is not friendly to requests for relief
from death sentences through federal habeas corpus.
* Criminal law: Gorsuch believes there is an overwhelming amount of
legislation about criminal law, and believes that cases can be
interpreted in favor of defendants even if it hurts the government. On
mens rea — which means "guilty mind," or essentially the intent to
commit a crime — Gorsuch is willing to read narrowly even if it means
it doesn't favor the prosecution.
* Checks and balances: Gorsuch does not like deferring to federal
agencies when they interpret laws, so watch out for use of the Chevron
rule, which allows federal agents to enforce laws in any way that is
not expressly prohibited. Gorsuch may push back.